Some people were upset to see that late U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater's name is no longer on the state Republican Party headquarters in central Phoenix. One concerned citizen went as far as to contact the Arizona Republic to investigate, curious if the missing moniker might be a political statement about Goldwater's ideological differences with the party. Some Republicans had called for the removal of Goldwater's name before, including when he endorsed Democrat Karan English for Congress in 1992. (English's opponent, Doug Wead, had the nerve to campaign as a "Barry Goldwater Republican.")
As it turned out, Goldwater's name came down two years ago, when the building on North 24th Street was repainted. Rather than paint the name on the building as it had been before, party officials erected a memorial sign alongside the edifice that features an emblematic elephant. GOP spokesman Tom Sifert told the Republic , "I wouldn't read anything into it."
Two of Goldwater's grandchildren say "Mr. Conservative" wouldn't have cared anyway, because the Republican Party of today is so far removed from the party Goldwater knew and had occasional philosophical differences with.
Ty Ross Goldwater, a Scottsdale-based interior designer, shared the Republic story on Facebook, with the comment, "Yes, please leave it off!!!!"
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Phoenix-based documentary filmmaker and writer CC Goldwater tells New Times she knew about the vanishing name. "The fact they've taken it down — I don't think he'd care," she says.
"My grandfather's perspective for people who wanted to invoke his name for profit or promotion or self-serving purposes — those are the kinds of things he would be livid about," CC continues. "He was an extremely humble guy. It's a completely different world now, politically. I can't speak for him, but the thought for me is, the Republican Party now and what Barry Goldwater was — it's a different world."
Both Ty and CC Goldwater are Democrats in a family full of Republicans. But CC says she can't imagine their grandfather endorsing 2016 Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, citing "the extreme shift in the Republican Party," and adding that comparisons between Trump and Goldwater — especially regarding the courtship of minority voters — bother her. "Trump could only wish he'd be one-eighth of what my grandfather was."